Tetanus Treatment, Crazy People, and Social Media

I rarely get into the vaccine stuff here because I don’t need crazy people attacking me. I have enough of that as it is. I was just amazed at this Newsweek article:

According to the report, in 2017 the child sustained an injury to his forehead while playing outside. Following the accident, the laceration was “cleaned and sutured at home.”

Six days later, the child experienced muscle spasms, jaw clenching and difficulty breathing. At that time, his parents called for emergency services and the child was airlifted to a local medical center. Despite receiving treatment, the child, on his fifth day in the hospital, required a tracheal tube and, as he experienced spasms in his diaphragm and larynx, had to be placed on a ventilator. 

According to the report, the child remained on a ventilator and a neuromuscular blocker for more than a month. He also spent time “in a darkened room with ear plugs and minimal stimulation,” as light and loud noise generated more spasms. He was also treated with metronidazole and other antibiotics through an IV to help regulate his blood pressure and heart rate, and fight off a severe fever.

After spending 57 days in the hospital, the child was moved to a rehabilitation center where he regained the ability to walk, run and bike within 17 days. 

Doctors gave the child a diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP) during the course of his eight-weeks of treatment, which the CDC estimated to cost more than $800,000. However, the estimate did not include the cost of air transportation, inpatient rehabilitation and the use of an ambulance, the report said.

Despite the recommendation of doctors, the child’s parents refused a second dose of the DTaP vaccination and other vaccines.

Okay, a couple of things. I am obviously pro-vaccine. This sh%t is getting out of hand and if polio comes back then god help us all.

Second, who the hell is suturing their 6 year old kid’s head? This family is nuts and needs to be watched.

Third, the family STILL refuses the second dose of DTaP? After the kid almost dies and a $800 K bill! This just proves how deep and pervasive these anti-vax beliefs are. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Lastly, I am fully disgusted at Facebook and social media for helping to perpetuate this madness. I think Pinterest stopped the anti-vax misinformation but FB has done very little. And how about the politicians who are allowing these nutcases to push their agenda? Even with measles outbreaks across the US, at least 20 states have proposed anti-vaccination bills.

This has got to stop.

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Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  7 comments for “Tetanus Treatment, Crazy People, and Social Media

  1. john parkin
    March 17, 2019 at 9:09 am

    Their minds are made up. Please don’t confuse them with facts but do make them financially and legally responsible for their actions.

  2. Jane Orient
    March 16, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    I treated a case of tetanus too, and I am all for tetanus shots.

    However, it does not follow that because one child gets tetanus, all children must be forced to get vaccinated against dozens of things, some rare and some generally mild.

    Last death from measles in US was in 2015. More than 100 deaths in association with vaccine: completeness of reporting and causal relationship both in doubt. Most kids who get measles recover fully with lifelong robust immunity. Some who get vaccine reactions don’t recover. Variable risk:benefit ratio with a number of unknowns. But who are you to force a bureaucratic committee’s judgment on someone else’s child?

    If doctors were more respectful and more thoughtful in their assessments (instead of rigidly standing by the holy CDC vaccine schedule), patients would be more trusting, and we might have better outcomes.

    Many vaccines have live viruses, and almost all have adjuvants. Risk is unavoidable.

  3. Stephen O'
    March 10, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    Allopathic medicine is like many other elements of our society. It rises and falls in effectiveness depending on the society’s embrace of reason and science. Many of the poorest countries in the world are rapidly improving their public health because their citizens have faith in reason.
    The developed countries, however, seem increasingly susceptible to superstition about matters of public health as well as many other areas.
    The problem is not vaccination. The problem is a willingness to suspend reason and embrace a paranoid posture towards the rest of the world. Durkheim’s critique of society in his works on anomie. His work on Suicide discusses the sense of rootlessness in society.
    As people have doubts about the sanity of the prevalent social order, they can regress to a more primitive but simple social order. Durheim saw advanced societies full of people with prolonged sense of not belonging, of not being integrated in a community, a sense that life has no tether. This absence can give rise to meaninglessness, apathy, melancholy, and depression. They can gravitate towards societies with much of the energy that cults do – rules with repressive sanctions, prevalence of penal law, an emphasis on rules rather than principles of living; transcendental truths superior to human interests and beyond discussion; concrete and specific beliefs to be adopted and embraced rather than considered and analyzed.
    I believe that is where the energy is coming from, not only from a mistrust of medicine, but in other aspect of American society. Without considering that these problems arise from the madness of otherwise sane people, one cannot determine where the problem lies.

  4. Ken
    March 10, 2019 at 6:31 pm
  5. Stevem64
    March 10, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    I’m impressed the ER docs rapidly diagnosed the case. It made me wonder if I would have done as well….

  6. Randy
    March 10, 2019 at 11:05 am

    I’ve had several patients suture themselves while out on fishing or hunting trips, so I don’t see that aspect as unusual. Reading the article it sounds like this kid lived out in the boondocks, so maybe the family did what they had to.

    On the vaccines, I am pro-vaccine. I think they work and i recommend them for all my patients. The question is to what extent do parents have the right to make bad decisions on behalf of their children.

  7. PW
    March 10, 2019 at 10:04 am

    I guess I mistakenly thought that if people could see the real effects these diseases had on kids, they might change their minds. My mom’s generation dealt with polio, and my mom actually had it but made a full recovery. You can believe we got all our vaccines.
    In the comments to a piece on Yahoo about the hearings on vaccines and the fact that they do not cause autism, someone wrote:
    ” We don’t vaccinate because the vaccines can cause seizures, brain damage and death, etc, etc”.
    I answered back, “You’re describing the effects of the actual diseases!”


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